When I was in college ministry, I did my own version of Psalm 23 after a breakup with this guy– I loved how God brought out beauty from ashes in that situation that was not catastrophic at all. Now that trial seems so far away and small, but back then it was heart-breaking. Thinking about that makes me look forward with hope that the trials I face today will one day seem a thing of the past. I haven’t posted in a while but a few days ago I was meditating on Psalm 23 again and my pain wrought out these words from my heart…we’ll see if I can finish it:
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want…
Jesus is kind, gentle, not forceful, not manipulative, not angry, not prideful, never unforgiving. Thank you. He is light and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we walk in His light, His presence will destroy our darkness, if we give Him the opportunity to repent and be changed.
In His presence there is fullness of joy, so therefore I have all that I need. I shall not be in want of the fruit of the Spirit, because in His presence I find love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, and self control. I must let Him lead me as my shepherd in order to not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.
I’m having trouble in this aspect. My heart races. My mind feels overwhelmed. I can’t stop thinking. I can’t stop replaying words, hurtful actions. I can’t stop feeling fear. I’m longing for the place of quiet rest. I wish I could go on a silent retreat for a week to unload all these negative emotions. I need restoration.
He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake…
I know he guides me. Reminds me of that old hymn “he leadeth me”- so old, so hymn-ny, so real. I know His hand is holding me. Strength will rise when I wait upon the Lord. His name is above my name. Above every other name. We place people on pedestals, yet the highest cannot reach Jesus’ toenails. His name sake– Lord remind me of how holy your name is! I want to live for it. I trust he knows the path, though painful, I know I’m where he needs me, in the path of pain, purging, cleansing, sanctifying.
Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil…
My valley includes me, the world, the enemy, and other people. In my valley I have the option of walking and responding in my flesh when others hurt me. My valley includes anger, pride, manipulation, demeaning & controlling behavior, arrogance, aggressiveness, lack of humility, unforgiveness, disunity. I feel attacked by these, my heart shrinks in pain, but I have the ability to respond with the same attitude. Yet, I shall be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry, because a [wo]man’s wrath does not bring about the righteousness of God. I don’t have to go out searching for ‘evil’- it’s all around me.
…for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
I think of my shadow that follows me around- he’s closer than that. What a comforting thought: HE is with me. Have you ever walked next to a celebrity or a really important person and you think, wow! I’m walking by so-and-so. It makes you feel important, like you’re someone, like you’re in the presence of royalty. Jesus is with me. Blessed thought! He’s WITH me. FOR me. IN me. BY me. AROUND me. BEFORE me. BEHIND me. ABOVE me. There is no place where God is not.
Rod? Staff? Have to look those up. Seems like I can lean on them.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies…
Don’t see the table yet. I just know it’s not flesh and blood.
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows…
My head, like I said, feels so clouded, burdened, heavy. My cup overflows with friends though. With love, encouragement, strength, wise words, prayers, boldness, courage, not a spirit of fear. I need my friends in my cup, like never before. The body of Christ.
Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Jesus is coming back! With the trumpet sound, with the voice of the archangel, with a loud roar. He alone is just. He alone is faithful. He is alone is worthy. Heaven will be sweet in His presence.
that’s psalm 23….today….